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Public Policy



Find Your Science at GSA
Geology Guidelines
Submission, Review, and Acceptance
Supplemental Material
Editorial Policy, Copyright, and Costs
Manuscript Sizing
Tables and Figures
Cover Photo
Contact Information
Ethical Guidelines
Open Access



Tables should replace text, not duplicate it. The numbering scheme should reflect each table's physical location in the document—tables in main text start with "TABLE 1."; tables in appendix start with "TABLE A1." See our sample table for further instructions.



If several items in a table require footnotes, use relative position in the table to determine the order in which footnotes are marked. Use the following sequence for footnotes: * (asterisk), † (dagger), § (sections mark), # (pound symbol), **, ††, §§, ##, ***, †††, §§§, ###, and so on. If asterisks already appear in the table (such as *Ar for radiogenic argon), do not use them in footnotes; start footnotes with a single dagger (†).


All illustrations, whether line drawings or photographs, are considered figures. GSA prefers electronic files, but sometimes we may have to scan clean hard copy if the files are unusable. To ensure the best possible results, please prepare art for illustrations according to the following guidelines.

General Style Electronic Fill Patterns Loose Inserts / Supplements
 General Guidelines for All Figures

General Style Electronic Fill Patterns Loose Inserts / Supplements top
 Style Guidelines
  Inches Picas Centimeters
Page width 7.125 44 18.5
Column width in a 3-column layout (1 pica between columns) 2.33 14 5.9
Column width in a 2-column layout (1 pica between columns) 3.5 21.5 8.9
Page depth 9.5 56.5 22.5
General Style Electronic Fill Patterns Loose Inserts / Supplements top
 Electronic Figures

Online Submission and Revision

Electronic figure/photo files should be in TIFF, GIF, JPG, EPS, Postscript, Pict, PDF, Powerpoint, or Excel format and should be clearly labeled with author name, figure number, and file extension, outside of the image area. We do NOT accept MSWord or LaTeX format for figure files.

Accepted Publication-Quality Figures

When your manuscript has been accepted you will be asked to provide publication-quality graphics. We require two electronic files for each figure: one in the program in which it was created (native format), and one in EPS, TIF, or PDF format. We will also ask for scannable hard copies to be mailed with the electronic files. Generally, halftones should not be scanned at higher than 600 dpi (dots per inch); line art is usually good at 1200 dpi.

The following native graphics formats work best, as long as the version of the application is noted and the file is labeled with the correct extension:

If you create either TIF or EPS files, they must be between 300 and 600 dpi resolution at the desired print size. Label figure files with author name, figure number, and extension. Make sure that the hard copy of the figure that you send matches the electronic file of the figure. Files created in any application other than those listed above should be saved as a TIF or EPS. We do NOT accept low-resolution 72 dpi images (no web images). Transparencies and drop-shadows tend to cause conversion issues in Canvas; please avoid these when possible.

Best Resolution

For all figure files, line art should be saved at 1200 dpi at 100% size. Photos alone should be saved at 300 dpi (or higher). Color images should be saved at 350 dpi (or higher) at 100% size.

Placed/Imported images

All images that have been placed or imported into your figure file must accompany this file on the disk (i.e., if you import a photograph into illustrator called photo.tif, you must supply this photo.tif electronic file along with your Illustrator file).

Digital Camera images

Files created by digital cameras are preferred as TIFF or RAW format (though JPEG is acceptable) and must be at least 300-600 ppi when scaled to the desired print size (besure that your camera is set for highest resolution for best results). We do not accept 72 dpi photo images.

Invisible Elements

Many graphics files contain unnecessary "invisible" elements. These are sometimes imported graphics that the creator of the file has traced over and then set not to print. To save out printer time and to cut down on file size, it is best to delete the unnecessary element rather than just set it not to print.


Please submit your figures in black and white unless you are willing to be responsible for the cost of publishing in color, should your manuscript be accepted. The cost for color is approximately $800 per figure. If your manuscript is accepted, you will be supplied with an exact cost quote. If you are willing to support this cost, please indicate this clearly in your cover letter or in the Manuscript Comment section. Color figures should be built in or converted to CMYK color mode.

General Style Electronic Fill Patterns Loose Inserts / Supplements top
 Fill Patterns for scannable artwork
General Style Electronic Fill Patterns Loose Inserts / Supplements top
 Loose Inserts/Supplements

Loose inserts/supplements (maps, seismic reflections, cross sections, etc.) may be included. Sheets may be printed on one or both sides. Authors must provide both electronic file and hardcopy, sized to the exact publication size. Two sizes of inserts are available. Authors must pay all costs for inserts. These costs include press preparation, printing, folding, handling, and inserting. For questions on loose inserts, contact the Managing Editor.

Small 11×17" (10×16" image size) Large 25×38" (24×37" image size)
B/W 1 sided $675 1 sided $1450
B/W 2 sided $800 2 sided $1800
4C 1 sided $975 1 sided $2850
4C 2 sided $1200 2 sided $3900